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US steps up campaign to urge Europe to drop Huawei, says Chinese tech firm threatens British intelligence services

US steps up campaign to urge Europe to drop Huawei, says Chinese tech firm threatens British intelligence services
US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien has cautioned Britain against allowing Huawei to operate 5G networks in the UK, claiming that the move would endanger the country’s intelligence services.

Inviting the Chinese firm to help develop 5G in the UK risks handing Beijing access to the “most intimate” details of British citizens, as well as sensitive intelligence and national secrets, the senior White House official told the Financial Times.

“They are just going to steal wholesale state secrets, whether they are the UK’s nuclear secrets or secrets from MI6 or MI5,” O’Brien claimed. He said that it was “somewhat shocking” to Washington that the UK sees cooperation with Huawei as a commercial decision, and not as a grave matter of “national security”.

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His provocative comments come as the US ramps up efforts to pressure its European allies to cut off ties with the Chinese company. The UK is still debating the issue.Washington insists that Huawei’s technology and hardware could be used by Beijing for spying, a claim which both the Chinese government and the tech firm strongly deny.

Germany, Italy, Portugal, and other European states have signaled their unwillingness to bar Huawei from developing ultrafast networks in their countries. Spain has already launched its first commercial 5G mobile services using Huawei equipment.

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